The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader of the Church of England and in the Anglican Communion the leader of its mother church. He is the head of the Church and lives in the English city of Canterbury. The Archbishop is chosen by the English monarch (the church's "supreme governor"), under guidance from senior bishops, acting in cooperation with the prime minister of the UK.

The office of Archbishop of Canterbury was founded in the year 597. In that year, Saint Augustine came to England, to the area called Kent. He had been sent by the Pope to convince the local people to become Christians. The people accepted him and Christianity when their King (Ethelbert of Kent) became a Christian. Augustine became the first bishop in the kingdom of Kent and was later recognised as archbishop when a second diocese was created. Since then, there has been an Archbishop at Canterbury in Kent.

The Archbishop of Canterbury used to be head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, but in the early 16th century the English church broke away from the Roman church. The new church called itself the Church of England, and now the Archbishop is the leader of that church. The current Archbishop is Justin Welby (from 2013).

Reginald Pole (12 March 1500 – 17 November 1558) was an English cardinal of the Catholic Church and the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury, holding the office from 1556 to 1558, during the Counter-Reformation.

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